The University of Zambia (UNZA) Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Luke Mumba, has thanked Government for giving the institution of higher learning the Maize Processing and Milling Plant for training and revenue generation.
“We are alive to the fact that this is a Presidential Initiative through the China Aid to establish three (3) processing and milling plants in Monze, Lusaka and Mpika. We are grateful to Government for giving us the privilege to manage the smaller plant in Lusaka which is situated on the Liempe farms of the University of Zambia. The plant will be used for the intended purpose,” Prof Mumba said.
He said that the Maize Processing and Milling Plant had two major objectives. Firstly, the plant would be utilised to train human capital to manage the three (3) milling plants in Lusaka, Monze and Mpika. Secondly, it would be used to generate revenue for the University.
Prof Mumba indicated that the plan would have spill-over benefits to people living nearby as it would create employment, be a ready market for formers, improve the quality of livelihood of the surrounding communities and a steady source of Government revenue through tax and levies.
He appealed to the Zambia National Service (ZNS) staff and the experts from China to assist the University in the initial stage of the plant operations. UNZA would jointly manage the plant with Chinese experts and ZNS staff for the first three (3) years after completion of the construction and commissioning of the plant. During this period, the Chinese experts would hand over the management of the plan to the Zambian experts. This period would provide an opportunity for knowledge and skills transfer.
The Government of the Republic of Zambia, through the Presidential Initiative, received a grant from the People’s Republic of China to establish three (3) maize processing and milling plants in Monze, Mpika and Lusaka under phase one.
The Maize Processing and Milling Plant in Lusaka was given to the University of Zambia in 2018 with the capacity to produce 40 metric tonne of maize mealie per day. The Construction of the three (3) plants were launched by President Edgar Chagwa Lungu on 17th April 2019 at the UNZA Agricultural Technology Demonstration Centre.